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Subject: Two Cars!
This Ford commercial reminds of an ad American Motors used to run on "Walt Disney" when I was a kid in the '50s. Their ad for Rambler had the slogan "Now YOU can be a two-car family!"
Spectacular advert for Fords, and yes, I swear there is a bit of 'wink-wink, nudge-nudge' implied... Lovely lady, too. She could be my elder sister (if I lived back then, that is). Ok, gimme that estate (station wagon in US English), pleeeease? Adore the knotty pine kitchen. Wow wow wow.
Subject: Well, Well....
Tables Turned, Thanks George, Now Millions Of Men Home, Outta Work....It's The New 30's!....Now Dad Can Shop, Do The Laundry, Apply For Food Stamps....ect!
Subject: Bye-Bye, Dave!
A promotional film by Ford that encourages families to get a second car by targeting married women who are stuck in postwar suburbs with no car during the day. Mrs. Housewife truthfully says that until they got their low-cost Ford Victoria, she was practically a prisoner in my own home! The film implies that women will use the car for domestic reasonsto go to PTA meetings or go shopping. But Mrs. Housewife gives the game away when she says what having her own car means to her: Its a whole new way of life . . . Now Im free to go anywhere, do anything, see anybody any time I want to! Maybe that means spending less time being subservient to husband Dave.
Fords desire to sell more cars has an unexpectedly subversive consequenceit gives women genuine freedom and mobility. As a consolation prize, Dave gets his own car all to himself." He can fill it up with cigarette butts and run it into the ground without listening to her nagging him about it.
Scott Bot -
Subject: How come she gets stuck with the wagon?
Interesting ad for the 1956 Ford Custom cars. This model would have been priced halfway between the expensive Fairlane models and the el cheapo cars. It's unusual to see a company advertise their mid range cars, because they made a lot more money on the top of the line models.
Wouldn't a good used car done just as well?
Subject: Free to fool around!
Mrs Housewife was a prisoner in her own household! She couldn't go out shopping, see her friends or do anything!! (Ever here of the bus or a taxi lady?). She "had to wait til Thursday night when Dave brought the car home". Wait, wait, hold on a second??? Is Dave gone EVERY WEEK? IS Dave gone Friday Evening?? Luckily, they brought another Ford in the household, and now she's free 'to do whatever I want'. I guess Mrs. Housewife is free to have an affair with someone who is not away from the house all the time??? Gee, I feel so old fashioned, but that's how I feel about Dave and Mrs Housewife's 'freedom'. Totally ridiculous.. This is a MUST SEE on this site!!!
Steve Nordby -
Subject: Thunderbird Power
Lonely housewife in 1950's suburbia needs the freedom of a low priced Ford (for the husband - she'll get the better one) to avoid being a prisoner in her own home. The voice over mentions "Ford's lifeguard design" which I believe refers to the fact the Ford introduced seat belts and other safety features at the direction of future Vietnam-era Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara.
Christine Hennig -
Subject: Two-Ford Freedom
This excerpt from a sales film for the Ford Victoria asserts that women can be emancipated by simply owning a second car. A suburban housewife is "practically a prisoner in [her] own home" before her husband buys a new Ford VictoriaÂÂfor himself. She gets the old car, of course. Now she can visit friends, go to PTA meetings, and shop! I agree with Prelinger that this kind of sexism, so often seen in pop culture from the 50's, was not a reflection of reality but an attempt to move backwards from the ground women gained during World War II. The "happy housewives" in these films existed only in these films and in TV commercials and sitcoms. Real women were already wanting, and sometimes getting, more. Big business tried to co-opt that desire by aligning "freedom" with the latest household gadgetry. How little they knew.
Ratings: Camp/Humor Value: ***. Weirdness: ***. Historical Interest: ****. Overall Rating: ***. Also available on Ephemeral Films.